Meet FACE Success Story Jax

Jax and Luis

We’re privileged to introduce you to a very special FACE Success Story.

Jax and his dad Luis headed out for a day of fun and were driving north on California’s Interstate 5 when a drunk driver, who was driving the wrong way, collided head-on with them. Both Luis and Jax were ejected from their car, while the drunk driver was fatally injured at the scene.

Jax was in shock, pacing the highway trying to help his dad who was badly injured. Once help arrived, Luis was taken immediately to Scripps Memorial Hospital and Jax was taken to our good friends at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Sorrento Valley. Luis sustained severe injuries, including multiple fractures, head bleeding, collapsed lungs, and a broken spine with the possibility of paralysis. Jax sustained internal bleeding, lacerations, trauma, and a spleen injury requiring surgery. To watch the NBC News story on the accident, click here.

Jax and his veterinary team

Luis, a combat veteran, suffers from PTSD after serving multiple tours in Afghanistan. Jax is his registered therapy dog and a main source of emotional support. “They are best friends that do everything together,” says Luis’s sister, who flew all the way from New York with her mother to be here for Luis and Jax. “Their love is beyond words. Jax has made his life a lot easier and less stressful. If anything happened to Jax, he would be devastated.”  When Luis regained consciousness, his first words were his 3-year-old daughter’s name and “Jax is irreplaceable.”

Jax with his dad and sister

With the support of community donors, FACE was able to assist Jax with receiving emergency care at VSH. VSH did not hesitate in helping Jax and worked with FACE to significantly discount his critical veterinary treatments.

Luis has already undergone multiple surgeries and is progressing each day, but has a long road of recovery ahead of him. It could be 6 months before he can walk again. Jax has been able to visit Luis in the hospital during his recovery.

Jax and his sister

FACE wants to thank everyone for ensuring that Luis has his best friend by his side during this time when the two need each other the most. “Thank you for everything you did for Jax and my brother, says Luis’s sister.  “Words cannot describe how thankful we are. From the bottom of our hearts, our family thanks you.”

Jax with a few of his FACE friends



Happy Valentine’s Day!


Happy Valentine’s Day from FACE Success Story Theo, a rescue cat who is loved dearly by his mom.

Poor Theo was hit by a car one day and found by the side of the road.  After taking him to the vet, they found out that Theo had fractures in his femur and his head. As a disabled woman, Theo’s mom was already having a hard time making ends meet – she just didn’t have the money for his $5,000+ surgery.

Thankfully, she applied to FACE and together with California Veterinary Specialists Murietta we were able to get Theo the surgery he so desperately needed!

Here are just a few more of our sweet Success Story Valentines:







Animal Lovers Search for “Fire Cats” Lost in California Wildfires

A recent article in The New York Times highlights some amazing work being done by dedicated California animal advocates.

Many pet cats fled their homes during the devastating wildfires that swept through Sonoma County.  Quite a few of these cats remain missing.

A woman named Jennifer Petruska has made it her mission to track these cats down every night since the fires.  So far, she and her team have found more than 70 cats, but they believe dozens more remain lost.

This volunteer group calls itself Pet Rescue & Reunification.  They set up night vision cameras and traps with food in places the lost cats are thought to be hiding.  The traps are checked every hour until morning.

Many people who lost their homes and all their possessions in the fires are still heartsick over the loss of their cats.  Animal experts say that cats flee danger by instinct and can survive in hiding for weeks.  This gives rescuers and owners hope that the cats are still alive.

A few found cats have yet to be claimed by anyone and are being housed at the Sonoma County Animal Services Department.

Images:  Jim Wilson/The New York Times.



Shelter Animal Database Sheds Light on Homeless Pets

Shelter Animals Count is a new, collaborative initiative of animal welfare stakeholders and advocates.  They have created a national shelter animal database, designed to provide facts and raise awareness about the plight of shelter animals in the US.

4,448 shelters across the US are participating in this large-scale effort to track and analyze shelter animal data.

They have recently shared an impressive amount of data on US shelter animals for the years 2011-2017, which you can explore in detail on their website HERE.

The FACE Foundation is a non-profit with a mission to save beloved family pets from economic euthanasia due to a family’s inability to pay for all or part of the animal’s emergency or critical care veterinary expenses.

Sadly, many dogs, cats, and other companion animals are relinquished to shelters for economic reasons.  As data from Shelter Animals Count shows, owner surrender of pets is an ongoing issue for shelters.

Here is the relevant data for the years 2011-2017:

  • Total number of dogs relinquished by owners: 878,460
  • Total number of cats relinquished by owners: 820,476
  • Total number of dogs relinquished for owner-intended euthanasia: 124,203
  • Total number of cats relinquished for owner-intended euthanasia: 61,837

A total of 186,040 dogs and cats were relinquished to shelters for owner-intended euthanasia between 2011 and 2017.

It is likely that many of these animals were sick, injured, or elderly and suffering from chronic health conditions.

We thank the directors and member shelters of Shelter Animals Count for the work they are doing to save the lives of companion animals and end pet homelessness.

You can see the latest updates on the work they are doing HERE.  To register your shelter and participate in the data collection program, click HERE to learn more and sign up!


Here are the Top Dog Names for 2017!

If it’s January, it must be time for a little fun pet news from the folks at  Yes, they announced the most popular male and female dog names for 2017!

Here are the names that Rover found to be most popular, after analyzing their client database:

Top Female Dog Names for 2017:

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Maggie
  • Bailey
  • Sophie

Top Male Dog Names for 2017:

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Oliver
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Tucker

A few fun dog name facts:

  • 44% of all dog names are also human names.
  • People are naming their dogs Barb and Eleven after characters from Stranger Things.
  • The latest Star Wars series is inspiring newly popular names like Finn and Rey.

Be sure to check out for the full lists of the 100 most popular female and male dog names!